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Incompetence with a chance for legal action?

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Hello all, just wondering about something.

 

Last week I had an accident which caused my arm to have a deep cut. I was taken to my local hospital who at first told me it just needed stitches. Shortly after they said I had cut tendons and needed to travel to this hospital in another town to have it operated on.

 

They gave me a 9am time slot, didnt bother asking how I was due to get there. My only method of transport is train. I found out after that the hospital is 2 hours on train and an hours walk from train station... First train of the day is 6am. No chance of getting there. I phoned and said I couldnt make it. Was delayed til the next day. I got trains that day, many were delayed so I couldnt make it on time, phoned and they arranged it for last Friday.

 

I got there, they finally saw me, just by doing some simple hand exercises they said it isnt my tendons that are cut, but my nerve in my arm. They said I will need an op to be done under local anaesthetic to repair it. So booked me in for yesterday (weds) to have it done. They made me sign consent form and it was agreed I would have it done. When they phoned to confirm a time I told them I could not make it for 9am due to trains and they said to come in for 10:30 or after that as I will be waiting all day for it to be done anyway.

 

Yesterday I got on train, hoping to get there by 11:30. I had a call off my mum at 10:30 saying they called the house phone saying I should of been there at 10:15 and was late. My friend phoned them saying I was told to go there after 10:30 and I was not late. They said its all fine and they would see me shortly

 

We got there for 11:45 and the rude woman on reception said I should of been there at 9am according to her sheet. Completely wrong. I was finally seen and told it cant be done under local anaesthetic but has to be done under general. Again they refused to do it that day claiming they had a lack of beds.

 

We were told they would call us to come down Friday (tomorrow). When they phoned they said I would have to be down at 8am, impossible for me, since even 9am was impossible with the earliest train of the day. They then said about Monday but warned that it will be left too long by then and the chance of success will be greatly reduced. They finished by asking me if a neighbour could take me... No neighbour would take me that far of course.

 

 

 

They wrongly diagnosed things... At my local hospital to start with and there after (once saying it needed an op under local anaesthetic the next saying it needed to be done under general anaesthetic). They also mixed up appointment times and pretty much wasted my time going there twice, costing me and a friend £35 each for a return on train each time we went. They knew we relied on trains and still messed me around for this long, which has now ended in having to go at 8am tomorrow which is impossible, or going Monday but having a decreased chance of them repairing it as its been too long.

 

In legal terms im thinking of actual damages due to negligence? So far they have had 2 chances where I was told prior to going that they would operate, but they didnt, and now its the first I have heard about the chances of fixing my arm are reduced as its been left this long.

 

Any advice?

Edited by Merker

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Nobody has any ideas??

 

In the end I went down monday. Train was colossal, as most people in UK know, there were flooded tunnels, and lots of delays. I phoned hospital as much as I could to keep them up to date. They understood and said fine. I got there around 1pm....

 

Waited for a bit there and was called in, 2 nurses had a right go at me asking why I was so late, when I tried to explain they couldnt even be bothered to listen. They started weighing me up and getting myself ready for surgery, I took some tablets they had and then they dropped a bombshell..... That I would have to stay overnight. On my last visit when they first said it needed to be done under general anaesthetic the surgeon told me it would take less than an hour and I could go home the same day, so of course I bought nothing with me for an overnight stay and myself and my friend paid for day return tickets. I knew the op had to be done though so I agreed to stay. The weird thing was they said I had already signed a consent form..... wrong. The previous consent form I had signed was for local anaesthetic op.

 

After the op and when I had woken up, the surgeon explained that because it had been left that long my nerve, tendon and muscle had all stuck back together in the wrong place as my arm healed. So he had to unstick it all and stitch them back in the right place. When I explained it was the fault of the hospital he went quiet and stopped explaining things (im sure he was none the wiser until then that I had 2 previous visits where I was sent away for the wrong reasons). He even offered to write out a form which my friend could give to the station explaining about the op, and asking if I could exchange that days return for a return the next day. Clearly a sign of guilt and knowledge that the hospital were in the wrong. Of course when my friend gave the form to them at train station they refused to swap the ticket.

 

My friend was told they couldnt stay over so went home, meaning they would have to pay for another return ticket Tuesday to come back for me. However when they had gone I was told by another nurse that they could of stayed.

 

They told me that night that the following day I would be seeing someone for physio and then I could go home. However the next morning it was a different story.

 

The surgeon who operated saw me (in fact when he first saw my arm, he was still in his coat and hadnt started his shift.... another sign of guilt I guess) said I was to have a splint put on it and I could go after. An hour later someone else came to see me and said it wouldnt be a splint but another cast.This was done in another department a bit later, when I saw them they were clueless as to what they needed to do, the instructions seemed to say the wrong thing to do for my particular injury... they did it though. She said I couldnt have a splint as it sounded like the person who does them wasnt in (not my problem of course).

 

I went back to the ward to ask the nurse as I wasnt convinced she had done it right, the nurse who sent me there said "I dont know, its what the dr's said"... so not helpful in the slightest.

 

They have booked me in for next week for a splint.... more train fare :(

 

 

Anyone got any advice/opinions? Please help as I need to know what path I could go down, thanks

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Hello there. I'm sorry you haven't had any replies yet.

 

I'm not really an expert, but it might be worth speaking with the PALS organisation attached to the hospital to see if they can help. I believe they've helped caggers in the past.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Sorry I didnt reply to your helpful post, been really busy dealing with hospital and more cockups.

 

I will get onto PALS...

 

I noticed now, the doctors letter for my GP they gave me wasnt even mine, it had some other patients address, name, dob, and her private and confidential letter was about something to do with her breast removal operating.... So my details with name address, dob has gone walkies into someone else's hands... what a cockup.

 

From what im guessing after reading advice I will be taking legal action as the diagnosis from my hospital was damaged tendons. If this hospital had operated right away it would of been fine. But because they ignored that and put it down to something less serious (damaged nerves), they delayed it for 2 weeks, meaning by time they operated, everything had stuck together in the wrong place and the muscle had "shrivelled" up as the surgeon put it, so now theres extra physio to go through

Edited by Merker

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at the end of the day,its your body thats been damaged,if it was me I would not have bothered with a train and all the ensuing problems,I woulda got a taxi or definately someone somewhere to take me there soon as possible,you cant seriously expect the hospital people to be guilty of anything?,they wait on people coming along for treatment,you should have made more of an effort youself to get yourself sorted!!

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How comes?

 

My hospital is in town and they couldnt do my op there as they didnt have the department. They transferred me to have op at a hospital that is nearly 2 hours away on train. Whereas there was another hospital just 1hr30 on train that is significantly cheaper (£15 return compared to the £33 return I was paying).

 

My family dont drive. I have a few friends who do but they work monday-friday and that was the only time the hospital could do this operation (not weekends). They even told me they cant just take a day off to take me to hospital. You know what the hospitals reply was?? "Cant you ask a neighbour to drive you?". Now I dont know anyone that has neighbours, that would take a day off work to do a 4 hour drive there and back to take their neighbour to a hospital. Most people (myself included) dont even speak to their neighbours so its a bit of a cheek going round there and saying "can you take a day off work, lose out on money and drive me 4 hours there and back".

 

A taxi (and to quote taxi booking websites) would cost £100 each way from my house, even if booked in advance. Yes there was taxis from the station which I did get, but its still 2 hours on the train.

 

The hospital have to be liable?? Theres no excuse, even with the fact I relied on trains. The diagnosis from my hospital was damaged flexor tendons which is classed as a relatively urgent operation (since the longer its left, the more chance of permanent damage). They specifically booked me in to have that op done on my 1st arrival. I was there on time, they should of operated.... but no, instead they ignored the notes that I gave them, I even said I was told it was damaged flexor tendons. But after asking me to move my arm in certain ways (they didnt look in the wound) they were certain it was nerves, not tendons that were damaged. So they put it in as a non urgent, local anaesthetic operation and sent me away.

 

The second time, again I was there on time, they sent me away, because they claimed they didnt have enough beds... even though the surgeon had told me I would be having the op but it would be general anaesthetic.

 

Then the 3rd time, they did operate, but they didnt even check to see I hadnt signed a consent form, they saw I signed 1 and assumed it was for that op.... when the only consent form I had signed was for local anaesthetic op and not general.

 

Even the surgeon admitted that because it had been left too long the muscle was damaged when everything that was cut had healed and stuck together in the wrong place. The reason it had been left too long? Because they didnt do what my hospital had said, put it down to something less urgent and put me at the back of the priority list... when really I should of had it done the 1st day I was there.

 

Then the mixup I found out about the other day?? It shows what they are like. They gave me a drs letter and a appointment form that clearly had another patients NHS sticker on the front of each, containing their name, address, dob, nhs number and the letter contained private and confidential info about their operation, and their next appointment. The person was opposite sex, 30 years older than me and they didnt have the same surname as me so there was no excuse for the mixup

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Hi

 

The question I have to ask is were you discharged from the initial hospitals care after being treated and given that appt at the other hospital?


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It looks as if Citizenkain didn't read the original post properly. The whole episode reeks of hospital miscommunication and incompetence and the result is loss of time and money to both patient and hospital (aka the taxpayer). I wouldn't rate your chances on compensation Merker. You may feel angry about the way you've been treated and probably believe that complaining will make the hospital smarten up its procedures for the next victim. It won't. Good luck, whatever you decide.

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Hi

 

The question I have to ask is were you discharged from the initial hospitals care after being treated and given that appt at the other hospital?

 

Thanks both, 1stly to Stu...

 

In my local hosp, they recognised the problem, diagnosed it (damaged flexor tendons) then because they do not have a specialist hand/arm clinic there, they contacted and booked myself in to have an operation in the other hospital who do have that specialist clinic. The instructions from my hospital were simple.... pretty much said "hes got damaged flexor tendons, must be operated on, on day or arvial", but of course, that was the day they ignored the notes, and put it down to something minor (damaged nerves), delayed the op and all along I have been walking round, believing this other hospital, when any second my tendons could of fully snapped and I could of lost the entire use of my hand.

 

and Sali: Indeed it does, hopefully its worth a go? iv been put so badly out of pocket by this, £200+ down on train fares, £100+ down on taxis, and of course because of their delays im unable to work for a further 3 months, than what I would of if they had operated right away.

 

 

On another note... today was another cockup too.... and this was the physio department.

 

I planned to get earliest train of the day for physio at their hospital. 1st train = cancelled due to lack of staff (strikes and whatnot) I informed them I may be 30 mins late at most and they were fine.

 

I actually got there on time (15 mins early) as I managed to get a £15 taxi as soon as I got off the train. There were 5 people in front of me, so by time I could book in at reception I was indeed around 15 mins late. I explained the whole situation, they said its understandable and fine.

 

I sat down, in this tiny waiting room that was so crammed it was unbelievable. Everyone who was waiting before me were seen, then people were coming in actually late (some late by 2 hours), they were all seen..... 3 hours later when the room was nearly empty I started to feel concerned... I still hadnt been seen.

 

I went outside to call my family just to let them know im still waiting and when I went back in reception was closed and there was 2 of us waiting. No nurses about.

 

This nurse walked out of main exit with her coat on and I said we both hadnt been seen.... She went back and got the booking sheets and did notice we were not crossed off as seen although we had booked in.

 

Finally when I was seen the guy takes my bandage off, says I gotta massage the wound, got me to swill my arm under the tap and sent me on my way. He even said "Usually with this you get 1 scar on the top, but because it was left too long theres scar tissue forming underneath which had made your arm quite hard, thus you need to do the massage exercises". In not so many words he actually told me the hospital were to blame for this.

 

I wouldnt mind as much if they got me claiming some sort of incapacity benefit, but they have made no attempts to, they know im unemployed, not on benefits and pennyless. Surely im entitled to at least £400 back pay from the date of my injury

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An update:

 

Its only a few days until the date they said the report of the investigation will be complete (taken them a month so either they are lazy or they knew it was a lot to investigate).

 

I did message them again a few weeks back asking about ESA payments and what I can do, never got a reply (since then I posted here and will be seeing GP about a backdated sick note).

 

Anyway. After my last appointment with the physio I was specifically told that day to keep doing these massages and they would book me in to come back a month later. They did mention that the appointment they booked me in for was optional and I would only need to go if the massaging wasnt working and it still felt stiff across my wound.

 

A few days before the appointment I planned to phone to cancel my appointment. They actually phoned me that day telling me my appointment had been cancelled as they were over booked and could I come for an evening appointment (no common sense again when they know theres simply no way to get there via train, have my appointment and be back at the station to get my last train home).

 

I explained that I was told it was optional and I would like to cancel and they cancelled me....

 

 

Today however I had this letter from them claiming I had missed my appointment and as a result have been taken off their list for treatment... Makes it sound like I didnt turn up and didnt let them know I wanted to cancel my appointment.

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What could I do now?

 

PALS response when I put in the complaint over a month ago was that the investigation will be completed and today I will receive a response from the chief exec... They mentioned if there were any delays and it would take longer, they would inform me...

 

However, no response from them today and no contact from them mentioning delays.....

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